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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay, I placed the order for the 5Zigen FN01R-C wheels from my previous thread. Much thanks to all who helped provide input for that decision. I went with 18" x 7.5" in the Bronze color; I wanted Matte Black, but the shop I ordered from said it is difficult to get that size in that color, and while they could order a set from Japan, it might be a while before it arrives on our shores. I checked 5Zigen's website and did confirm that the Matte Black color in that size is for "limited applications," so I guess my shop wasn't wrong on that issue. In addition, I ordered a set of hubcentric rings in the 73 mm - 57.1 mm size from Discount Tire Direct for $15. I found a picture of a red SRT-4 (same color as mine) with the FN01R-C's in bronze (I whole-heartedly recommend the "The SRT-4 WHEEL GALLERY" thread by evo77 in this forum), and I think it looks pretty good.

Now I am considering the first set of tires for these wheels. Of course, I realilze the BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW 2's would be a proper choice, but they are somewhat expensive, and especially with the current wheel purchase, my funds are being stretched a bit thin. The car is my daily driver, with an occasional SCCA Solo II Autocross day thrown in for fun, so while grip and handling are important issues, noise and ride comfort are characteristics I don't want to overlook.

I am leaning towards the Kumho ECSTA SPT in a 235/40/18 size. They are affordable, currently at $113 each from The Tire Rack, compared to $157 each for the KDW 2's. I have been diligently parsing both manufacturers specifications for these tires. The Kumho tire's Service Description is 95Y, offering the same speed rating and a little bit more load capacity than the stock KDW 2's (93Y). Their overall diameter in this size is 25.4", the same as the stock KDW 2's, so my speedometer and odometer calibrations should remain consistent. Their section width looks to be about 1" wider, though I am merely interpolating, since neither manufacturer's specifications list the width for the exact sizes involved (BFG lists 8.2" section width for a 6.5" wheel and Kumho lists 9.5" section width for an 8.5" wheel). I will gain a bit of weight in the tire, since the Kumho tire weighs 25.8 lbs per tire versus 23 lbs per tire for the stock KDW 2's, but I am losing weight with the FN01R-C's at 18.5 lbs per wheel (http://www.wheelweights.net/) versus 21 lbs per wheel of the SRT-4 stock wheels, so overall handling shouldn't change too much for me to know (yes, I know, rotational mass is actually increasing, but I'm cruising the streets of my hometown, not tearing up the curves of Laguna Seca :lol: ). The Kumho tire has a better treadwear rating of 320 versus the BFG tire's 300, though I understand this is a somewhat arbitrary rating among the manufacturers. From my calculations, it seems as though I will probably lose 0.34" of tire thickness going to the 235/40/18 versus the stock 205/50/17 size (235 * 40% / 25.4 mm per inch = 3.70" versus 205 * 50% / 25.4 mm per inch = 4.04"... wow, math can be useful! :cool: ).

From a casual search of opinions on the Kumho ECSTA SPT, many have said that it is a good tire, trading the maximum handling performance of the KDW 2's for better ride quality, most likely attributable to a softer sidewall, comparitively. While I am not a big fan of a squishy sidewall, especially when trying to clear that last cone of a corner on an autocross course, with my current stock suspension setup, I may not notice too much of a difference. I am a bit worried that the 235/40/18 size may cause clearance problems with my stock suspension setup, so any input on that issue is greatly appreciated.

I've probably bored everyone to tears with this long message, but I try to do as much research on my own to answer my questions before I trouble others. To sum up my questions needing external input:

1. Will a 235/40/18 tire fit an SRT-4 with a stock suspension setup without damaging other parts?

2. Will a 235/40/18 tire degrade ride quality dramatically compared to the stock 205/50/17 tire, given its loss of 0.34" of tire thickness (4.04" versus 3.7")?

3. Are there any subjective (or is it objective... I can never remember which) opinions about the Kumho ECSTA SPT as a replacement tire for the SRT-4?

Thank you to all who have made it to the end of this dissertation and would like to provide input!
 

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SPT's are very good, general performance tires. There are some that grip better in the dry but combining noise, treadwear, grip, etc. they are good tires.
 
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